Crews Begin Trimming, Removing Trees to Prevent Power Outages


THURMONT, Md. - Crews with Asplundh Tree Company began removing trees along Catoctin Hollow Road on Monday for Potomac Edison. They say there's more than 140 trees that are either dead or in the way of power lines where they could fall on to, and as a result, they need to be removed.

"Once every five years we have to reach every distribution and transmission line to make sure we can deliver safe and reliable electricity to the customers," said Todd Meyers, spokesman for Potomac Edison.

Trees are the number one cause of power outages. Between 2011 and 2013, Potomac Edison cut their outages in half because of trimming. They will spend about $18 million the rest of the year on removing trees in the way of transmission and distribution rights of way throughout Maryland and the Eastern panhandle of West Virginia.

This equals to about 2,700 miles. Crews were on Catoctin Hollow Road Monday due to the high reports of outages in that particular area. 

"The circuit that we're going to be trimming along, and the circuit is simply the line itself, is a distribution line that has a lot of tree related outages on it," Meyers said.

Crews said they go out and mark the trees they need to trim or remove with an orange tape. They're known as "danger trees."

"Those are trees that we have identified them leaning towards the lines," Meyers said. "They could come down in the next storm, or ice storms like we had this past winter."

The companies also consult with home owners if a tree is on their property to let them know the tree may need to be removed or trimmed.

"We will work with property owners and ask because they could fall and cause imminent danger of knocking out power," Meyers added.

Potomac Edison said if your home is near a power line to not grow trees more than 5 ft. underneath it, because it may need to be removed if it gets in the way.

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